Sopa de habas (or fava bean soup) is a hearty Mexican meal filled with creamy fava beans, fresh vegetables, and tasty herbs and spices. This one-pot recipe makes a quick and easy dish to prep for the whole week ahead!
Soups (sometimes referred to as sopitas) are one of our favorite meals to make because they can often be cooked in one pot, take little effort, and make for great leftovers.
Who's with us?
Sopa de habas checks all of those boxes. And as a bonus, it's loaded with health benefits! You're going to be so happy you tried this recipe!
What are fava beans?
Fava beans (habas in Spanish) are also commonly referred to as broad beans. These legumes grow in large pods of flowering pea plants, which are harvested in the springtime.
Inside the pods are large, flat beans that have a clear skin covering them (this is usually removed before eating).
Although fava beans are slightly more expensive than other bean varieties, they are worth every penny.
They have a nutty, buttery taste, and they come loaded with nutrients. Fava beans are definitely an ingredient you should be incorporating into your diet!
History of fava beans
Dating back thousands of years, fava beans are actually one of the oldest cultivated plants we know about. The reason this crop has been around for so long is that it can endure cold climates and harsh conditions.
Nowadays, fava beans are found in many different cuisines like Asian, European, South American, and African.
What is sopa de habas?
Sopa de habas translates to fava bean soup in English. Although there are a number of different ways to make this dish, a Mexican-inspired version includes vegetables and chiles grown in the area.
Spicy pasilla chiles provide a smoky, fruity taste, while vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, and garlic make the broth hearty and flavorful.
We've already mentioned it, but we absolutely love this soup because it's so easy to make and you'll have meals for the whole week!
Once your fava beans are soft and tender, all that's left to do is serve it with a few garnishes. Some of our favorites include:
We always enjoy our soup with a side of freshly made corn tortillas. This recipe is not only simple and delicious, but it's also completely plant-based and gluten-free!
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: if you've never tried fava beans before, you're in for a real treat! They are creamy in texture and have a slightly sweet, nutty, and earthy flavor. Blend a portion of them to add the perfect thickness to your broth.
Health: loaded with nutrients, fava beans are a serious hidden gem. These beans are full of protein and fiber, plus they contain whopping doses of folate, manganese, and iron. You're going to want to keep these beans on hand!
Taste: for layers of flavor and spice, this soup contains both serrano and pasilla chiles. Serranos add some heat while pasilla chiles provide smoky, fruity, and earthy flavors to the broth.
Health: chile peppers carry unique health benefits thanks to the special plant compounds found in them. In red chiles like pasillas, you can find capsanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant that's been shown to promote eye health.
Taste: although you can fill this soup with any number of vegetables, carrots, celery, onion, leeks, garlic, and tomatoes make a great base. All of these vegetables create fresh flavors and tasty textures we can't get enough of.
Health: we could go on for days about the benefits of eating veggies, but we'll keep it short and sweet for now. Complex carbs (fiber) found in vegetables help slow down the absorption of food, which makes you feel full for longer. Not only that, they keep your microbiota (gut bacteria) happy and healthy!
Taste: creamy cheese, herbaceous cilantro, spicy pasilla chiles, and buttery avocado are some of the most common toppings you can find on sopa de habas. Feel free to add any of your favorite garnishes as well!
Health: did you know avocados contain more potassium than bananas? Potassium is crucial for your body to perform certain tasks like regulating fluid balance and ensuring your nervous system works properly.
If you have questions about this sopa de habas recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: soak the dried fava beans overnight, or for at least 6-8 hours to soften them. De-seed and chop the pasilla chiles, dice all the vegetables, and grab out your spices and vegetable stock.
Step 2: heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium. Add in the pieces of pasilla chiles and fry for 45-60 seconds, or until fragrant. Transfer them into a bowl and set that aside.
Step 3: add the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and serrano chiles to the pot. Sauté them for about 4-5 minutes, or until quite fragrant. Add in the diced tomatoes, cumin, and oregano, and cook for another few minutes.
Step 4: add in the 12 cups of vegetable stock and fava beans. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
Optional: remove approximately 3-4 ladles full of soup and blend until smooth. Add the mixture back to the pot of soup to finish simmering.
Step 5: with a few minutes left of simmering, most of the fried pasilla chiles back in with freshly chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve with a garnish of leftover pasilla chiles, cilantro, avocado cubes, vegan cheese of choice, etc. Happy eating!
This minimal-effort recipe is great for meal prep, so we suggest making a double batch. Follow these instructions to keep your sopa de habas as fresh as possible.
Your fava bean soup should keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. The flavors stay fresh when using an airtight container made from glass.
Sopa de habas lasts for at least 3 months in the freezer. Just make sure you use a freezer-safe bag, container, or mason jar.
If you're freezing this sopa in glass jars, make sure to leave a little room at the top and wait until it's frozen to screw on the lids.
When you're ready to reheat your soup, just thaw it in the fridge then reheat it over low-medium on the stove for 3-5 minutes or in the microwave if you're short on time.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this sopa de habas recipe with you:
- Soak the fava beans. To decrease the overall cooktime and increase digestability, it's best to soak the fava beans overnight.
- Blend some of the broth. If you prefer a thick and creamy broth, try blending some of the soup before serving.
- Make it spicy. If you can handle the heat, try adding a few more serranos or an habanero chile in.
- Prep in advance. To save time on cooking, chop all the vegetables beforehand and store them in airtight containers in your fridge.
🍴 Tasting notes
This is one soup we always have in our weekly rotation. It's:
- Perfectly spiced
If you try this sopa de habas, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas)
- Large stockpot
- Knife & cutting board
- 1 pound dried yellow fava beans ($2.36)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
- 2 pasilla chiles ($0.08)
- ½ large white onion, diced ($0.12)
- ½ large leek, diced ($0.20)
- 1 large carrot, diced ($0.14)
- 2 stalks celery, diced ($0.10)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced ($0.12)
- 1 serrano chile, minced ($0.02)
- 4 Roma tomatoes, diced ($0.64)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano ($0.03)
- 2 teaspoons cumin ($0.02)
- 1 bay leaf ($0.01)
- 12 cups vegetable stock ($0.56)
- 1 cup chopped cilantro ($0.24)
- Salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)
- Avocado cubes
- Extra cilantro
- Vegan cheese cubes
- Soak the dried fava beans overnight, or for at least 8 hours so they soften. Drain and rinse them.
- Next, de-seed and cut the pasilla chiles, dice all the vegetables, and grab out your spices and vegetable stock.
- Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium. Add in the pieces of pasilla chiles and fry for 45-60 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove them from the pot and set aside.
- To the same pot, add the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and serranos. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until quite fragrant. Add in the diced tomatoes, cumin, and oregano, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the 12 cups of vegetable stock and fava beans. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
- Optional: with a few minutes of cook time remaining, remove ~3-4 ladles full of soup and blend until smooth. Add the mixture back to the pot.
- Lastly, add in ¾ of the fried pasilla chiles and freshly chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with a garnish of more pasilla chiles, chopped cilantro, avocado cubes, vegan cheese of choice, etc. Happy eating!
- Once soaked, the fava beans will double in size, so make sure you cover them with enough water to account for this.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty sopas, check out our:
- Sopa de lentejas for a lentil soup that's fresh and made with inexpensive ingredients to create an absolutely mouthwatering meal.
- Sopa de fideo for a simple and comforting bowl of Mexican noodle soup.
- Pozole rojo to try a traditional Mexican soup made vegan with oyster mushrooms in a spicy broth.
- Mexican black bean soup for a healthy, hearty, and creamy dish that's great for weekday dinners.
Fava beans have been consumed for hundreds of years and are not toxic when prepared and cooked properly (like in this recipe).
However, some people have a hereditary disease that causes a deficiency in the enzyme G6PD. Those who have been diagnosed with favism should avoid eating fava beans as it can lead to severe anemia.
We recommend soaking fava beans for two reasons. The first is that it reduces overall cook time. The second reason is that it decreases the concentration of oligosaccharides, which may affect digestibility.
Yes! This sopa recipe is absolutely healthy. It's filled with plant-based protein, fiber, and tons of vitamins and minerals. Just don't go too overboard with toppings like cheese!